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may increase as the dose increases. patients may experience loss of appetite or weight. patients who weigh less than 110 pounds may experience more side effects. people at risk for stomach ulcers who take certain other medicines should talk to their doctor because serious stomach problems such as bleeding may worsen. people with certain heart conditions may experience slow heart rate. [ woman ] whenever i needed her, she was there for me. now i'm here for her. [ female announcer ] ask the doctor about your loved one trying the exelon patch. visit to learn more. next,, cutting a deal. lawmakers reach a last-minute agreement, but do we know where the $38 billion in savings are coming from? also ahead, the roller coaster economy. what the ups and downs at amusement parks tell us about america's financial well being. wedding watch. kate middleton dolls flying off
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the shelves while wedding guests are told how to behave on the big day. good morning, everyone. welcome to msnbc saturday. i'm alex witt. let's get to what's happening right now out there. well, it came down to the wire. just minutes after midnight congress passed a budget bill to avoid a government shutdown. today there's new reaction from president obama who says the $38 billion in cuts will require sacrifice by all americans. >> some of the cuts we draeed to will be painful. programs we rely on will be cut back. infrastructure projects will be delayed. i would not have made these cuts in better circumstances, but we also prevent thissed important debate from being overtaken by politics and unrelated disagreements on social issues. >> well, removing those social issues, specifically a provision that would have blocked federal funding of planned parenthood, is being hailed as a win by democrats. meanwhile, republicans are flaunting sweeping spending cuts.
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>> all 100 of us, and 435 members of the house. >> we had an opportunity tonight to decide whether we wanted to repeat history or make history. had we chosen to repeat history, we would have allowed a government shutdown. instead, we decided to make history. >> nbc news white house correspondent mike and nbc news capitol hill correspondent luke russert are both closely following this story for us. with a good morning to the both of you, my friends. i'm going to begin with you, luke. down the stretch how did this play out behind the scenes? >> well, there is two deciding factors really down the stretch there, alex, and number one was this idea of federal funding for planned parenthood.
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peeker boehner was able to do it because a lot of the older republicans, especially a few i talked to -- he spoke to one republican senator who was speaking about the house saying, look, we do not want to get into a idealogical purity test on a spending issue. it will look bad if government shuts down over something contentious as abortion where people fall on the left or the right. there's not a lot of middle ground there. there is a few more billion dollars in terms of spending cuts. an interesting thing that you've seen throughout this whole process is that the gop has tied the amount of spending cuts to what they were able to get in terms of policy riders. by not being able to get the federal funding ban for planned patienthood, they then were able to enact a few more billion dollars in spending cuts. the final number, obviously, came out to around $39 billion, but really an agreement was reached around mid-morning on friday. it just had to be sold and the details ironed out, and speaker boehner was able to deliver his
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gop. whether or not it was a freshman revolt last night after the caucus meeting down in the basement of the capitol when the deal was announced. a lot of freshmen were happy with this speaker, and sort of rallied around him. a lot of that, i think, is because this is honestly the only leadership figure a lot of these guys have ever known. many of them have never been in politics. there is a lot of intrigue with this speaker and they see him as being ab institutional figure and someone they should believe in. all the narrative about them revolting didn't happen last night. it was more the old guard republicans if anything else. >> do you see any sticking points in the passage of the final bill by the house by friday? >> no. i think you'll see some outspoken republicans. you'll see liberals like anthony wiener saying it's a bad deal, and they'll generate a lot of news on the cable wars and blogs. the people you need to get a bill across the finish line, they're going to support it.
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nobody wants to hold this up, especially after what everyone just went through, and not to mention, alex, there are two major fights ahead of these guys in congress. the 2012 budget. but before that, the reason they got the debt ceiling coming up sometime in may. then as a substantial issue which has more of an impact on the economy than anything congress could really do. no one wants to look backwards. this was a tumultuous few weeks if you will. time to move forward. you'll hear the partisans, but rank-and-file members on both sides of people you need to win votes, they'll go along with it. >> as i've said before, buckle up. get ready for a ride. >> indeed. indeed. >> thank you very much, luke russert. let's go to mike ficaro who covers the white house for us. with a good saturday morning to you. >> hello, alex. good morning to you. >> the mood for the administration this morning, you know, the president avoid aing shutdown. the mood there is good with the white house claiming a political win as well? >> well, essential, and when you say this morning you must mean about 1:00 in the morning when we heard from senior administration officials over in
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the west wing and sort of an off camera background briefing. look, here's the way they portrait the president's activities, actions, posture during these last few days of very tense negotiations. a very firm fist that has sort of covered in a velvet glove. they want to emphasize on the one hand the president was very tough when he needed to be tough, but on the other hand, he acted as a p consill ator, and that's what the american public wants, and that is essential the message that the white house took from the november "shell k "shellacking" that democrats took in november. one water shed moment that the white house wants us to know about is vice president biden thursday night over this issue of public funds for planned parenthood and other so-called title 10 organizes that provide health care for lower income women -- vice president biden telling john boehner we will take it to the american people. that will not be in this bill. if not, we'll take it -- just have to take it to the american people. the implication being that they
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would have let the government or the government would have closed down if republicans had insisted on that. that was a make or break kind of deal. meanwhile, the president appeared in the blue room of the washington monument, and it was just over his shoulder. one of the icons of this country that would have been closed today if they would not have come to that agreement, and he emphasized the fact that he was a concilliator and this was a true compromise. >> a few months ago i was able to sign a tax cut for american families because both parties worked through their differences and found common ground. now the same cooperation will make possible the biggest annual spending cut in history. it's my sincere hope that we can continue to come together as we face the many difficult challenges that lie ahead. >> luke outlined very astutely those many difficult challenges. the debt ceiling, the budget for next year. we are just getting started here, alex. this is a skirmish in a year-long war. >> okay. if you say to. long war. that's a way to put it. thank you very much, mike.
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well, to the relief of many, military families will continue receiving their paychecks now that the government has avoided a shutdown. let's go live once again to fort bragg, north carolina. nbc's ron mott standing by with reaction there. with another good saturday morning to you, ron. what are the service members and their families telling you? >> reporter: hey there, alex. good morning. i was just thinking that an appropriate headline for the local paper this morning might have been how do you spell relief, no shut down. these folks are obviously very happy that this shutdown was averted because they were sweating bullets. a lot of these families wondering how they were going to meet their basic needs. paying for the house or the rent on the apartment, food, groceries, things like that. utilities. they say they live pretty much paycheck to paycheck a lot of these folks. especially the newly enlisted service members and their families. they're young. don't have a lot of savings. they say any disruption in their paychecks, they would feel almost immediately. and so above and beyond those fears and concerns, there was a lot of stinging criticism of politicians in washington. a lot of these folks said they
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felt they let this political process go on way too long and put hem in an untenable commission xshgs one gentleman in particular, a soldier, said if anyone should have been exempt from this conversation, it should be service members, especially when you consider they're risking their lives at this very moment in afghanistan and iraq and around the world, and so they should never have been put in this position to worry about their finances going forward as the folks in washington should try to get this budget deal passed. so while on the one hand they're certainly relieved that this shutdown has been averted, there may be some lingering feelings towards congress that are not so positive, shall we say. alex. >> shall we say. okay. ron mott, thank you very much from fort bragg. well, this wednesday the house plans to vote on the long-term budget bill that would fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year. the one-week extension that passed early this morning expires on april 15th. for the latest updates from the government funding bill as well as how the changes are going to affect you, you can head to we turn now to libya where a rebel spokesman says opposition forces drove back an assault on
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the city of misrata by government troops. rebels say they drove back an attack on the eastern flank of that city where residents have been wedged between bloody clashes for weeks. the victory still has not broken the rebel stalemate with colonel muammar qadhafi's forces. at least five people were reportedly killed in this latest battle. violent anti-government protests in syria left 32 people dead and hundreds wounded. on friday pretty dramatic pictures on syrian state television showing unknown gunmen firing from a vehicle in the streets of the central syrian city. according to amnesty international the bloodshed in syria has raised the death toll to more than 170 people since the unrest began three weeks ago. japan is easing some of the restrictions put in place after rayed radiation started leaking from the fukushima nuclear power plant following the march 11th earthquake and tsunami. let's go live now to tokyo and lee cowan. good saturday morning to you, lee. or good night your time.
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what things are they easing? >> well, what we're talking about here, alex, are the restrictions on mainly produce and some milk. they've now decided that spinach, some other leafy vegetables, as well as raw milk in and around that were grown in and around the plant there are now safe to put back in the food chain. part of them. not all of them. this is based from the new regulations that they put in place a couple of days ago. first of all, they need to figure out just how radioactive things should be to get back into the food chain, and exactly what process you go about to figure out how they are radioactive. what they've decided do in the case of produce is to test once a week. if farmers' produce passes three times consecutively in a row, then it's okay to put it back on the market. the thing that some farmers are worried about now, though, is rice. this is right around the time that farmers would be planting that crop that they would then harvest in september. the government is saying they're not going to allow those farmers to plant that rice until they've checked out the soil to make sure that there's no cesium.
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it stays in a lot longer than, say, iodine does. the fear, though, on the part of these farmers is that's a lot to get done in the next couple of weeks. the government did say they're going to ramp up the amount of equipment they're going to use to detect radiation levels, but the fear is if they don't get this done in the next couple of weeks, they're pushing everything back, and that's going to affect the rice crop later on. zoog how about the situation right now, lee, in the fukushima nuclear power plant? what's the update there? >> well, you know, i hate to keep saying it again and again and again, but it's really all about that radioactive water. ever since they plugged that leak preventing some of that highly radioactive water from getting into the ocean, the water still has flowed in. it's backed up, and it's deeper in some of those turbine buildings. especially near reactor number two as well as in those pits we were talking about. they really hope to be able to start pumping that water out and get some of the workers in. they don't think that's going to happen, though, for about a week or so. they have another tank that they've been emptying, less radioactive water into the ocean that's in a separate part of the
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plant. that was finished tonight. all that water is now out. they think that will probably start in the next four or five days. maybe be complete in the next week or so. that's going to be a real big turning point, alex. once you get those workers back in, at least you may start to see some progress in terms of getting those under control, but more importantly, you really get boots on the ground to figure on out what the damage is. at this point it really is just educated guesses on just how bad things are in there. >> okay. thank you so much for that educated guess and then some, lee cowan. still ahead, it is where people put their wages on the line and hope for lady luck's good graces. this morning more gamblers in las vegas are out of luck. also coming up, it's a tale of two lives. a mother's dark secret hidden if her most beloved, but now it can be hold. and it is a tale of the tape. the mother of an nba star has a little run-in with the law.
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is. several people were injured after a strong storm moved through western virginia. official saz several homes were severely damaged after a tornado ripped right through polaski county last night. more than 4,000 customers lost power, and an emergency shelter was set up in the town. let's go now to msnbc meterologist bill karins for the national forecast. it's kind of a mess there. >> good morning, alex. it's april, and this is the time of year we get to severe weather season. it's typical that the mornings are quiet, and the storms really fire up in intensity late this afternoon into this evening. today will be no different, and then tomorrow morning we'll check and see how bad the storms were. we still have a couple of strong storms. if you live on the ohio river, northern kentucky, these storms will roll through pedestrian uka
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and smat senate and lexington. if you have morning plans in kentucky, bring the umbrella with you. there's the shower and storms over kentucky. late today those will dive down over the appalachians into the carolinas. finally, the sun is out from areas in philadelphia northwards up through new england. about time. it's still kind of cold and chilly out in much of the west with mountain snow likely in had salt lake city. yesterday you had about an inch or two. now, today severe weather. late today into tonight that, area of red is a moderate risk of severe weather. minneapolis, rochester, if you live in any of those areas, make sure you pay attention to the weather forecasts as we go throughout the evening. that's your best chance of large hail and even a few tornadoes. then as we go into sunday, severe weather moves from the minneapolis area into wisconsin. we're going to see another severe weather outbreak down through illinois. we'll have to watch chicago closely, st. louis closely, down to little rock, and we already have a moderate risk of severe weather. that area of red there includes much of wisconsin and northern illinois, so, again, this is typical for this team of year. we haven't had a real horrible
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tornado outbreak yet. it doesn't look like it's going to happen, but we will see a few of them, and really all it takes is one to hit your town, and that's all it takes for some bad damage. >> yeah. what about that rain in southern california? the dodger-padre game? what was up with that? >> can you believe it? >> all those rain delays. >> they had hail this week in california. it was cool. temperature yesterday in l.a. was only 50s for this time of year, and then the poor baseball game ended 4:30 east coast time. >> in the morning. yeah. they're going to try to get that one done. >> didn't even finish it. >> go, dodgers. thank you very much, bill karins. congress will be back in session next week to vote on the compromised budget plan hammered out on capitol hill. that came with virtually no time to spare. the government was on the virj of shutting down when the house speaker finally struck a deal. >> as you all know, this has been a lot of discussion and a long fight, but we fought to keep government spending down because it really will, in fact, help create a better environment for job createors in our
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country. >> jonathan kapart is an aide toral writer for "the washington post and msnbc contributor. >> good morning, and happy birthday. >> we let you sleep in because i talked to a few people already this morning and gotten their take on things, so how about you? how do you feel about everything that went down last night? >> i'm glad they averted a government shutdown. especially for the folks that were going to washington for the cherry blossom festival. we're still not out of the woods just yet. yes, they have an agreement to cut the twechbl budget by $37.8 billion. these are budget cuts that were pushed very aggressively by the republican party. particularly the tea party members, those new members of congress, the freshmen members who came in on the wave of people saying they needed washington to stop its spending. >> how about the vigarities of the details? we don't know a lot? certainly john boehner didn't give a lot last night when he took to the podium there. by this morning, any more things
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figured out? >> no. what we know is that they have agreed upon a number that should be cut, $37.8 billion from the budget. they agreed on a short-term spending bill, continuing resolution that would fund the government through next thursday to give speaker boehner, senate majority leader harry reid, and the white house, time to hammer out the final details of where all those cuts are going to come from to get to $37.8 billion. so that's why we don't quite know just yet. i think as we get closer to that final vote on thursday, we'll have a better idea of what parts of the budget will get hammered. >> one thing we do know, the last 24 hours, let's say, the debate was pretty much over making cuts for planned parenthood. that is something that republicans were pushing for and it ended up being dropped. do we know how the democrats got the republicans to agree to that? >> it's more like how did the republicans get the democrats to stop attacking them over this silly provision, and it was
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basically we'll drop the planned parenthood provision if you agree to more cuts, and so that's how we got from the democrats saying, well, we agree to $30 billion. boehner saying i'll take $40 billion, and you end up at $37.8 billion being cut out of the 2011 budget. that's how it happened. let's keep in mind, i think there is a promise to have that planned parenthood provision voted on separately. apart from the budget. >> okay. the tea party's michelle bachman voted against this agreement saying the deal is a disappointment to her, mainly because of that dropped planned parenthood rider. anthony wiener said he had a bad feeling about this deal. any concerns this is far from over, particularly in the house being able to budget this -- vote this thing through by friday? >> right. no, this is -- i mean, anthony is right. this is far from over. i don't blame him for having a bad feeling about this because, as i said before, we still have to see where the cuts are going
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to come from that will amount to $37.8 billion. and then once you have that bill and let's say they jump that hurdle and approve a final budget for 2011, we somewhere to go to the fight over the budget for 2012, and as luke russert alluded to earlier, the big vote on the debt ceiling will be a debate that will make what we went through last week like nothing. >> oh, boy. okay. thank you, jonathan, as always. >> thank you. >> police in miami beach are saying more about their dealings with lebron james' mom after she was arrested outside a posh florida hotel. this is new video, and it shows gloria james in handcuffs at the police station on thursday right after she allegedly slapped a parking valet in the face. police say james was condee sending and rude to the booking officers and supervisors, and she told police, "i don't trust your kind." james is charged with simple battery and disorderly conduct. [ female announcer ] to do well, kids need to eat well.
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in tech watch verizon will soon no longer offer one-year service contracts to customers. that is because the majority of customers opt for the standard two-year deal, so says verizon. the one-year offers end april 17th. >> there may be more whoa in las vegas. winnings are dropping. winnings were off by 7% in february compared to a year earlier. the fewer winnings amounts to an 11% drop in tax revenue for nevada. taxes on casino winnings compromise about one-third of nevada's general fund. we'll be right back. don't go away. this is t a lipstick. [ male announcer ] it's outlast lipstain from covergirl. [ drew ] light as air lipwear that does what a lipstick can't. with one sold every 15 seconds, it's the #1 selling lipstain in the u.s. [ male announcer ] outlast lipstain. from easy, bezy, beautiful covergirl.
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♪ unexpected. ♪ defiant. ♪ and just what you need to forge your own path. introducing the most fuel-efficient luxury car available. the radically new... 42 mile per gallon ct hybrid from lexus. ♪ it's msnbc saturday. i'm alex witt, and at precisely half past the hour here are your headlines. lawmaker on capitol hill have come to an 11th hour agreement.
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five others were laid to rest yesterday. in germany eight people are dead. dozens of others injured after a highway pile-up during a sandstorm. at least 12 of the cars caught fire. sfwlirchlgts bah back in the states the average price of gasoline has gone up to $3.75 a gallon. has risen it 22 cents in this past month. ireland's rory mcilroy leads. tiger woods is tied for third. is he three strokes behind. those are your fast five headlines. less than three weeks to go until william and kate tie the knot in that big royal wedding that everyone is anticipating, and this morning new details about the royal couple. there's also the arctic adventure, one that left him stuck on ice for prince harry. nbc's george lewis has the very latest for us. a good saturday morning to you, george. what's the latest there from london? >> well, it's a gorgeous spring
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day on this side of the pond, and london is full of tourists snapping up royal wedding souvenirs. you've got your kate and william tea towels, your royal refrigerator magnet, and countless other things as the wedding approaches on the 29th of this month. >> reporter: 20 days and counting, and as william and kate prepare for their wedding, a warning went out from the british press complaints commission to the paparazzi. don't stalk the family of the bride to be. photographers recently snapped kate middleton's mother and sister out shopping in london. news organizations claim they've got a right to do this. >> essentially, the royals who the middletons are marrying into, and we, as such, have a right to know what they're up tosh where. >> reporter: there were concerns about the best man, prince harry, being stranded on an expedition to the arctic because of runway problems at the airport he was using. >> i don't want to spoke about
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them ever again. >> reporter: word came this morning that he had returned to london. this as the buzz over the upcoming wedding rose to a roar. >> i'm absolutely over the moon about the big day. >> reporter: margaret tyler describes herself as a royalist. her house crammed with things celebrating the monarchy. that kind of royal kitch has become big business these days. tacky souvenir items emblazened with pictures of william and kate flying off store shelves. >> the princess katherine doll is now on sale. >> reporter: at hamly's london famts toy store the princess kate doll, $57, sold out in one day. >> what we see here is a chance for kate middleton to become a really, really popular figure on the global world stage. >> reporter: that's already happened. 20 days before kate says "i do" to william. >> now, the question is will princess katherine become as big a figure as the late princess diana. buckingham palace tries to
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discourage speculation about that, considering it tacky. >> oh, my. hey, george, you were bringing up those refrigerator magnets. i don't know if you can see it. this is a huge cookie. this is the windsor crest. it was made for a friend -- from a friend, gale, who watches msnbc saturday and sunday all the time. one tough cookie she's going just gang busters over this stuff. it's intricate, though. i'm going to have the boys -- >> i don't have to bring you anything back then, right? >> yeah, you do. don't you think you can get away with that. thank you so much. well, a washington state woman has been sentenced after claiming she was the victim of an acid attack and then admitting her story was a hoax. betheny stoaro appeared in court with her attorney with a clear mask on her face. she admitted she lied to police when she said an unknown african-american woman threw the acid on her. she said she threw the acid on herself. >> to the residents of clark county and specifically the african-american community, i am totally sorry for my hurtful
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actions. words cannot express how emotional i feel towards those who have generously given of their money, time, and concern. >> well, the judge ordered her to pay restitution to the city and perform community service. we have new disturbing evidence about a scare at a california synagogue where police say an explosion at the santa monica temple was an attack, not an accident. authorities believe that ron hirsch constructed a homemade bomb and he is a transient who had asked for money there before. no one was injured, but the bomb sent a large chunk of concrete crashing through the roof of a nearby house. if you can imagine that. well, the roller coaster economy is costing amusement park visitors big bucks, and it is hurting the pash's bottom line too. an average family with spend $500 at one outing at an amusement park when you take in the tickets, the food, the parking into account, and that figure doesn't even include hotel costs if you are thinking about making a big trip. peter is an expert on amusement
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parks. some job, peter. let me tell you. he is the aultor of america's top roller coasters and amusement parks, which i understand is a book you wrote to get over your fears. >> i was afraid of roller coasters, and, well, for many years i was afraid to actually go near one. my daughter was born, and i said, you know, i don't want to sit on the sidelines even though i was a pilot and still am a pilot. i just wanted to overcome that fear sxishgs realize thad childhood fear goes a long way, and it was actually writing the book that helped me fwet through it, and in the actual book our tip on how to overcome your fear as well. >> that's big because a lot of people are afraid. me not being one of them. i love those things. how is the economy hurting amusement parks? >> as you know, the economy has hurt everybody out there, and, unfortunately, it has hit the amusement parks. amusement parks are doing okay. they're starting to recover. you might have known that the six flags operation, unfortunately, had to, well, tighten their belts a little. they're still doing fantastic. i think last year they did 22 million people that came into the parks out of their 15 parks,
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and cedar fair is doing well. disney is doing well and rebounding, but for a time there it was very tough for all of the industry. >> but what about the concept of people saying, you know what, it's so pricey to go travel someplace far away. let's go to a local amusement park. i mean, it can be a cost-saving measure if you want to just get away and get some fun. >> the great thing is there are so many amusement parks out there. you don't have to go to the big ones like disney, universal and so on down the line, bush gardens. you can also go to the local parks and during these times, the economy being this way, it's a great way to escape and get away from everything, so basically i tell people go to the local park. >> yeah. >> you know, that's the way to beat it. >> are the amusement parks, though -- they're aware of this. they want to get their numbers back up into black as well. are they doing anything, like incentives, cost-cutting deals for families? >> all the time, all the majors, like, for example, disneyworld they always have these specials. in fact, you can actually save money on different things like meal plans and stuff along those
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lines, so that's something that they're doing. the thing is season pass tickets are great because if you use the ticket twice and this goes for anything, cedar fair, six flags, disney and so on -- >> two times is all it takes. >> two times is all it takes, and now you're starting to use their ticket money basically is what it boils down to. it's actually a very great way to do that. all of them are doing it. of course, they've got extra things if you go to their parks. if you stay at their hotels. there's a meal plan that they have so you can get on a budget for the meal plan, which is a fantastic thing. i know disney has been doing that, and i other parks are starting to do that as well. >> you kind of have to bite the bullet at the outset, though, because you walk up to the district court boo ticket booth, it's $70. disneyland. i visit that out in l.a. >> a lot of times, framp, disney you can buy a park hopper, and you might not get to all the parks. you can still use that ticket if you come back. they're good for not just for
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that one day. there are ways you can get around that. if you just buy a ticket one day, they can tell you, come on back. we'll change this and become a season pass ticketholder. >> you think this is going to be a big summer blockbuster, amusement parks? >> great ones out there. >> what's your favorite? >> my favorite is actually in san dusky, ohio, cedar point. you did mention california screaming, which is -- >> oh, my gosh. that is the best. >> that's big for disneyland as well. >> you take off. the g forces, it's like two seconds, and then you are up in a big loop. it's so fun. anyway, good to talk with you. it was a lot of fun, peter. america's top roller coasters and amusement parks, your new book. let's go to a get-away car that could not get away. a 15-year-old girl. she's at the wheel there in south carolina. police are in pursuit. that over chase ended when the teen drove right into the church building when she recovers from serious injury, she's going to have to face several charges, including grand larceny. not good. [ sneezes ] allergies?
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you think i have allergies? you're sneezing. i'm allergic to you. doubtful, you love me. hey, you can't take allegra with fruit juice. what? yeah, it's on the label. really? here, there's nothing about juice on the zyrtec® label. what? labels are meant to be read. i'd be lost without you. i knew you weren't allergic to me.
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[ sneezes ] you know, you can't take allegra with orange juice. both: really? fyi. [ male announcer ] get zyrtec®'s proven allergy relief and love the air®. positive? we're gonna have a baby. ♪ ♪ now, when i was a little boy ♪ at the age of 5 ♪ i had somethin' in my pocket
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[ male announcer ] the four-door sports car. we're gonna have a baby. [ male announcer ] nissan maxima -- innovation for daddy... we're gonna have a baby! [ male announcer ] ...innovation for all. but actually, it's easier than you think, because general mills big g line of cereals is america's number one source of whole grain at breakfast. there's whole grain in every box... ♪ ...from chex... to cheerios... to lucky charms. so you can get the whole grain you want with the taste you love. get started on the whole grain you're missing with your favorite big g cereals. make sure to look for the white check.
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some troubling news out of the gulf of mexico today. researchers have traced oil found on dead dolphins in the gulf. to that massive bp horizon spill last year. hundreds of bottle-nosed dolphins have washed up dead in the region over the past year, but kun clear if the oil caused their deaths. researchers are still investigating. at least two people are dead. two more missing after an explosion at a fireworks storage facility in hawaii. firefighters arrived to find fireworks still exploding. the storage unit rented by a company that actually stabilizes and destroys fireworks. two were injured in the blast. one of them critically. now that the government has avoided a shutdown -- joining me live now is cindy ethan robeck, whose husband is deployed in afghanistan, and she works for that's a group that provides
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assistance to military personnel, the vets, and their families. job well done on that front. good morning to you, cindy. >> hi, alex. thank you for having me. >> well, i'm glad you're here. you must be smiling for good reason this morning. i mean, they avoided the government shutdown. you get paid. >> absolutely. nothing like waiting until the last hour, but definitely i think i can speak for all military families when i say what a relief. >> yeah. boy, were you even able to go to bed last night, or were you watching glued to television thinking, oh, please, get this done? sfwoo definitely. i wasn't going to sleep until at least midnight to find out, you know, the result of what was going to happen. >> have you spoken with your husband about all of this and gotten reaction perhaps of what's going on overseas? >> actually, yes. he was able to call me last night probably around 11:30, and he hadn't heard the results yet, so i told him, and it was pretty evident he was pretty relieved, but i think he was almost more excited to tell the rest of the guys because they've all been really stressed out about what's
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happening at home and what was going to happen, so i know they are just thrilled and now they can focus on what they're there to do. >> yeah. thank goodness, right? they have enough on their plat to worry about without worrying about whether their family will have enough money to buy groceries. give me the perspective. had this government shut down and you had not gotten the next paycheck on time, what kind of a mess would that have put you and your family? >> i mean, honestly, with a week's notice that we're not going to get a paycheck, you might imagine it was going to cause, you know, some serious problems. you know, oftentimes, especially during deployments, families will set up allotments, so if they have bills that are due during -- midmonth and they're not getting a full paycheck, you might imagine, you know, that would cause a lot of problems. >> yeah. >> so i think everyone is just really relieved, you know, that at least now i understand that this is still a bit of a fragile deal, but at least there's, you know, awareness now that this might, you know, pass. >> most of the people i have
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spoken with say this will happen and it will pass before the deadline on friday. fingers crossed, indeed, on that. >> how about trey, your husband, how is he doing and how is he feeling over there in afghanistan right now? >> sure. absolutely. you know, he deployed in january. he is a couple bat engineer doing route clearance. he has attached to the 101st out of fort campbell, kentucky, and, you know, he said that they're just staying focused and trying to do their mission and, you know, things are going really well, so that's great to hear. you know, hearing this potential government shutdown kind of put a burden on all of them. you know, they're trying to stay true to the focus of the mission and so this certainly wasn't something that they wanted to hear about, you know, so there's been a lot of stress that way. i think now they're able to get back on track and do what they're there to do. >> cindy, i mentioned that you work for usa tell bus what that program does and if this whole situation kind of helped bring some attention to your organization if we were also focused on the burden for
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the military families had this not gone through. >> right. usa cares is a wonderful nonprofit organization that provides financial assistance to military families, so in the event that we had a government shutdown, we're prepared to launch what we were going to call operation paycheck to assist as many military families as we possibly can with immediate needs like, you know, whether it be gas in the car or food on the table, but we were ready to be able to assist whoever we possibly could. we had other programs as well. we have a jobs for vets program and a ptsd program -- a couple of things we do. >> wonderful organization. fortunately, you are able to save for another rainy day. >> right. >> thanks for talking with us. cindy ethan roebeck, i know you are proud of your husband and the service he has done for our country. >> thank you, alex. right now we are just minutes away from washington
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d.c.'s national cherry blossom festival parade. this annual parade commemorates a donation of those gorgeous japanese cherry trees. they were given to us here in the u.s. in 1912 by tokyo's mayor at that time. more than a dozen marching bands from across the country are scheduled to participate in this event. and derek ward from our nbc affiliate wrc joins me live from that event. mother nature certainly is cooperating, right? good morning, derek. >> good morning. well, she is cooperating in terms of having it rain, but no sun. take a look behind me. one of those marching bands has struck up. this is the blue high marching band. one of the premier bands here in the city, and knthey've gotten lot of national attention as well. this parade, this festival has gotten some attention because of the government shutdown. they have shortened the route. there are fewer people participating. some of the military would not have been allowed participate, but we know that shutdown has been alerted at least for now
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week, and this festival is going on as planned. you mentioned, this is all based on the gift of those cherry trees from japan in 1912. well, coming up next year will be the 100th anniversary of the trees and of this festival. they plan to pull out all the stops. this year they're just happy to be pulling it off as they planned. work gets underway any minute now. it's actually scheduled to start at 10:00. you have a few minutes before these bands get underway. a lot of festivities going on here today. there's also a festival, a street festival, that goes along with this, and the blossoms are actually still in bloom. not as bright as they were, but they're still there. good reason to come down and watch. we're live on the mall. back to you. >> looks like a fun place to be right now. her real name and the reason for her move out west was kept hidden if her family. nbc's lester holt has more.
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>> reporter: at first glance marie walsh seemed to have it all. three children, a loving husband, a happy life in san diego. but marie had a secret. one she kept hidden even from her husband and kids. that secret 1970s michigan when marie was known as susan lefevre. as a teen, she had fallen in with the wrong crowd and started doing drugs like marijuana and cocaine. when she was 19, susan said a friend convinced her to drive him to get pizza but that he was really going to sell drugs. when the police showed up, they arrested susan as well. >> they didn't find any money on me. they didn't find any drugs. at my apartment. they found nothing incriminating. >> reporter: she says the prosecutor and her attorneys told her if she pleaded guilty, she would get probation. but susan was sentenced to 10 to 20 years in prison.
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after one year behind bars and with the help of her grandfather, susan made the bold decision to escape. she moved to california, changed her name, got married, and started a new life as marie walsh. >> hi, honey. >> hi. >> reporter: as the years passed and she raised her family, marie said she wondered if she would live the rest of her life as a fugitive. but in 2008, law enforcement caught up with her at home in california and sent her back to prison in michigan. >> i've been through 30 years of paying off a debt. i hope that there's some consideration for the fact that i did turn my life around. >> reporter: after one year, marie was released on parole. >> i'm just delighted that this nightmare is over. >> and that was nbc's lester holt reporting. it took just 12 seconds. that's all. to bring down an old navy hospital. this was the naval medical center in oakland, california.
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it's been closed for about 15 years. soon the land will be the site of a new housing and set of retail stores. ity and still no one knows the sun life financial name. that's about to change. so you'll pay for the tour, but i have to change my name? no, you're still kc. but from now on they will be the sun life band. it's funky. sooner or later, you'll know our name. sun life financial. ♪ 100 ways to enjoy pringles. ♪ 100 crisps, 100 ways. ♪ everything pops with pringles.
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new this morning, a radiation monitor in sacramento, california, has detected a plume of trace amounteds of radioactive material from the crippled fukushima nuclear power plant. health officials were quick to say the amounts were so tiny that they pose no danger to the west coast. the findings are just the latest with several states detecting minuscule amounts of radiation from japan. joining me live, the president of blue ocean institute and the host of the tv series "saving the ocean." it airs on pbs. good saturday morning to you. >> thank you. >> look, carl, we all hear about these minute, and they're not going to bother you amounts of radiation that are traveling across the pacific and hitting largely on the west coast, although it's even gotten to the east coast as well. what are the big areas of concern right now for hawaii and the west coast? >> well, i think people should be concerned.
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it's a story that is moving and will be changing. but at the moment, if the leak remains stopped, and that's an if, if the leak remains stopped, then people don't have to worry. so there's concern about the news. and then there's -- we don't have to worry about what's been released so far. >> okay. do you trust the food and drug administration saying that they are able to test all the fish, any kind of seafood that would be coming in from that area saying that it's safe? you know, had you think about it and things that do slip through the cracks over the borders, you have a lot of questions. >> we import very little seafood from japan. the amount that's in the water right now, if there's no more leaking, is not likely to be a health threat to americans. not just because the food and drug administration says so, but a lot of nuclear experts who have looked at this say the same kind of thing. if there's no more released, it will be dissipating in the vast
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area of -- in the vast quantities of the whole ocean. >> and that's what people say. that the pacific ocean will be able to absorb this, if you will, dissipate the churning, the whatever. to what extent can the ocean take before it does become a problem? and might we get to that point? >> well, if the release was continuous, you know, like last year with the bp blowout, for four months, it was an uncontrolled release. if it was an unreleased flow for months, yes, it would be building up in the food chain. the release was a pulse for a short amount of time relatively very low levels, relative to the vast amount of water in the ocean. and other than right around that part of the japanese coast and some buildup in the marine life right there, it will dissipate if the source remains stopped. >> so are you going to order sushi and feel comfortable about it? >> i wouldn't worry about it. i mean, my main concerns about sushi have more to do with the mercury that's in them from the
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coal that we burn and from the fact that a lot of the big tuna and big things like that are depleted by fishing. those are the larger problems that are still ongoing about that. >> carl, thank you for that. good luck with "saving the oceans" tomorrow night. it's in albuquerque? >> new mexico, the albuquerque market is the first one. it will be on a variety of stations around the country. check local times and listings. >> we will look for it. good luck. >> thank you. is the crisis over the capitol over at the capitol? shutdown avoided for now but at what cost? and who says there's no such thing as a free lunch? a popular chain is luring customers with their free eats. ? but i was still skating on thin ice with my cholesterol. anyone with high cholesterol may be at increased risk of heart attack. diet and exercise weren't enough for me. i stopped kidding myself. i've been eating healthier, exercising more and now i'm also taking lipitor. if you've been kidding yourself about high cholesterol, stop. lipitor is a cholesterol-lowering medication,
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fda approved to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke in patients who have heart disease or risk factors for heart disease. lipitor is backed by over 18 years of research. [ female announcer ] lipitor is not for everyone, including people with liver problems and women who are nursing, pregnant, or may become pregnant. you need simple blood tests to check for liver problems. tell your doctor if you are taking other medications or if you have any muscle pain or weakness. this may be a sign of a rare but serious side effect. let's go! [ laughs ] if you have high cholesterol you may be at increased risk of heart attack and stroke. don't kid yourself. talk to your doctor about your risk and about lipitor.
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